‘Simply not true’, Meta clarifies its stance on pulling out from Europe – The Indian Express

Meta Platforms Inc (formerly Facebook) has denied any allegation of  wanting to leave Europe calling it “simply not true”, in its  latest blog post. This development comes a day after Meta in its annual report, said that if it couldn’t rely on new or existing agreements — to shift data, then it would “likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”

However, Meta in its latest blog clarified, “We have absolutely no desire to withdraw from Europe; of course we don’t. But the simple reality is that Meta, like many other businesses, organisations and services, relies on data transfers between the EU and the US in order to operate our global services. We’re not alone. At least 70 other companies across a wide range of industries, including ten European businesses, have also raised the risks around data transfers in their earnings filings.”

Meta said it has highlighted this before as well and this development is “not new”. “We’ve raised international data transfers in each of our earnings since at least Q2 2018, and highlighted the specific risk to our services in Europe and the need for a safe, secure EU-US data transfer mechanism in our last four earnings”.

According to a report by Bloomberg, European Union regulators have for months been stuck in negotiations with the US to replace a transatlantic data transfer pact that thousands of companies relied on, but which got struck down by the EU Court of Justice in 2020 over fears citizens’ data isn’t safe once shipped to the US.

Meanwhile, the social media giant faced backlash from European regulators. According to AFP, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that they would be okay with Facebook not having a presence in Europe at all.

Earlier in its previous annual report, Meta had already warned that if it is not allowed to use standard contractual clauses, it would be “unable to operate” parts of its business in Europe.

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